Friday, December 4, 2009

Let me start off by telling you what the Dark Days Challenge is. It's a challenge to eat one SOLE (Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical) meal per week and write about it. Many people in other parts of the country rely on root veggies and what they've preserved for the winter during these coming months. I am very lucky to live in California and still have access to a lot of fruits and veggies. Where I fall short is in the protein department, I haven't yet made relationships to get my hands on any local meat although I have found some options throughout Southern California. This challenge sounds easier than it is, when you start thinking about all you use to cook:grains, flour, seasoning, oils, etc. Not every ingredient has to be local, you got to make an exception list before you started and include what you'd be using that wasn't local.
My Exception List:
I have not found local sources for beans, grains, rice, or wheat, but I can get all of these ingredients from within California. The only items that will be used from outside of California are my baking ingredients, even my flour that will be Bob's Red Mill until I can get a grinder. The closest cows milk is 350 miles and the cheese even further, so I will try not to use these much in my meals for the posts, but we'll see...The other thing I have to mention is my vegetables and fruit, at this time I pick up a CSA box that includes food from Central and Northern California. I will mostly use my FM veggies and fruits, but at times one of these might sneak in, but I'll note it.

My take on the SOLE meals, is the same way I feel about the rest of my meals I make everyday. I love to get as much local as possible, but as long as it's from California I feel pretty good about it. The resources I do use from California are organic, sustainable, etc. If it's not from California and just something else I purchase I try to be mindful of the company that produces it and I don't buy too much of those things. I would love to say I don't give in to cravings and junk sometimes, but I do, but I am aware that every purchase is a vote and I think I do my part. I am pretty proud of where we are today, but am hoping to get much better in next year.

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